In Chains of Gold: The English Pre-Restoration Verse Anthem, Vol. 1 - Orlando Gibbons: Complete Consort Anthems

In Chains of Gold: The English Pre-Restoration Verse Anthem, Vol. 1 - Orlando Gibbons: Complete Consort Anthems

by Magdalena Consort


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The English verse anthem of the 17th century was a contradictory form, progressive in some ways, conservative in others. Leading composers of the early part of the century, including Gibbons, Byrd, Weelkes, and, daringly, John Bull all wrote them, but they have never had the wide appeal of the more intimate madrigal and motet. This is the first recording of the complete consort verse anthems of Gibbons, who did much to advance the form. His anthems are grand, intricate works, seemingly written for imposing occasions, and they are virtuoso works of counterpoint. Sample the two-section "Do not repine, fair sun" for an idea of why Glenn Gould valued Gibbons so highly. The progressive side came from the structural contrast built in between solo voices (taken from the small choir) and the full group, which brought in hints of contemporary Italian developments. The anthems were also in English, and their texts were meant to be understood, not repeated by rote. The most famous Gibbons anthem, "This is the record of John," is also here; it's a fine example of the text-centered nature of these works. This is where this all-star ensemble recording falls short. The combination of the fine instrumental ensembles Fretwork and His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts produces a suitably splendid sound, but it tends to swallow up the singers of Peter Harvey's Magdalena Consort, and listeners will need printed texts even though they're fairly familiar ones. The recording is at St. George's Church, Chesterton, Cambridge, a place where the anthems would be more likely to have been accompanied by an organ, and their structures to have been more clear than they are here.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/10/2017
Label: Signum Uk
UPC: 0635212051122
catalogNumber: 511
Rank: 150945


  1. Lord, grant grace, we humbly beseech thee, anthem for voices
  2. See, the word is incarnate, anthem for voices
  3. In Nomine a 5: Two Basses, No.3, for viols, MB29
  4. Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints, anthem for voices
  5. O all true faithful hearts (O Thou the central orb), anthem for voices
  6. Blessed are all they that fear the Lord, anthem for voices
  7. Glorious and powerful God, anthem for voices
  8. In Nomine a 5, No.2, for viols, MB28
  9. Do not repine, fair sun, madrigal for 3-5 voices & 5 viols (only texts exist)
  10. Great King of Gods (Lord of Lords), anthem for voices
  11. This Is the record of John, anthem for voices
  12. In Nomine a 5, No.1, for viols, MB27
  13. We praise thee, O Father, anthem for voices
  14. Behold, thou hast made my days, anthem for voices

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